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Assured availability of quality power to people is the basic feature of a smart city, apart from slum-free city environment, proper delivery of services like clean water, affordable housing and meeting the needs of children, women and the aged, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman ArvindPanagariya said today.
“The government has selected 100 cities for smart city development based on competition without any iota of controversy and was highly laudable,” Panagariya said, stressing upon the need for optimal use of scarce urban land through vertical development. He was speaking at a knowledge-sharing workshop on “Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation” organized by the Aayog and University of New South Wales, Australia.
Speaking at the same event, Urban Development minister Venkaiah Naidu counted resilience to climate change as a major objective of the Smart City Mission, apart from sustainable urban planning and development, area-based development and technology-based solutions for better governance. “implementation of Smart City Mission is certainly changing the way the city governments are addressing issues of urban planning and execution,” Naidu said.
Also present on the occasion was Urban Development ministry’s secretary Rajiv Gauba who said the first batch of 20 smart cities have come out with projects with potential for visible impact on ground. He clarified that Special Purpose Vehicles being constituted for implementation of smart city plans are not parallel power structures but are accountable execution tools with the involvement of Mayors and elected representatives of people in advisory bodies.
Launched in June 2015, the mission aims to develop 100 smart cities across the country in a five-year period. So far, 60 cities have been selected for the scheme and additional 40 will be announced by the end of June.
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